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Publisher's Summary

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming.... This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final story idea of Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself.

Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.

©2011 Patrick Ness (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Compelling ... powerful and impressive." (Philip Pullman, author of the award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy)
“Brilliant and elegant, with all the thrills and ambition you would expect from the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy." (Frank Cottrell Boyce, award-winning author of Millions and Cosmic)
“Haunting, lyrical, powerful, and true. Patrick Ness has crafted a masterful story about grief and loss, love and hope that lingers in the heart like a ghost.” (Libba Bray, author of the Printz Award-winning novel Going Bovine)
"Exceptional ... this is storytelling as it should be - harrowing, lyrical, and transcendent." (Meg Rosoff, author of the Printz Award–winning novel How I Live Now)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good "one-timer" for all ages

This book is definitely on my “one-timer” list. A “one-timer” is a good or great book that I will only read once because it is too emotionally draining or intense for me to handle. I admit I don’t usually read/listen to these types of stories because of the emotional drain they cause. I know some folks find them very therapeutic or cathartic but that is not me so I had force myself through this one.

That being stated it doesn’t mean this book isn’t good because it is actually a very well done story with a great buildup of tension and emotion. The relationship between Connor and the Monster didn’t seem forced or unrealistic and there was a natural flow to the story. Even though you know the ending is coming, the force of it isn’t lessened because of the good job the author did of building the emotional ties to the characters of Connor and his mom.

Jason Isaacs did an absolutely fabulous job with the narration in this book. Then again as far as I am concerned he could read the phone book and I would be happy. It was very interesting though as he voiced each of the characters I created a very vivid image in my head of how each character appeared and that was due to his great ability.

64 of 65 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Sweet Surprise

This book was chosen by my book club and I didn't have a clue what it was about. I recently lost a dear friend to cancer after a 4 year battle and am headed down the same path now with another dear friend. I sobbed as I empathized with this young man. I've had the same feelings and felt such guilt. It was healing for me to see that those were normal feelings when watching someone you love so much, fight so hard, all the while praying for a miracle and the happy ending doesn't come. The reader and story line were both amazing! Thanks for helping to heal my heart.

36 of 37 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Most powerful book this year

Patrick Ness has written a book that will stay with me for a very long time. The human condition is so well depicted, our vulnerability, our capacity for self-deception, and our lack of seeing beyond the situation directly in front of us. Isaac's narration kept me enthralled, wanting to know what was next, all the while knowing what the final outcome would be.

32 of 33 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Absolutely fantastic.

It is so raw, and real, and beautiful and it will never cease to make my sob like a baby. I can't handle how amazing it is.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Movie

I saw the preview of A Monster Calls & it got my interest, so I went to audible to read about the story. It's not just about a boy who deals with death, but the death of a writer with ideas & a writer who takes her ideas & writes a GREAT story. Yes, it is to help teenagers but it can help anyone of all ages. Patrick Ness I think you did a wonderful job bring forth this awesome tale. Looking forward to the movie.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Reno, NV, United States
  • 12-24-16

One for all-time - especially for adults

The reason I keep reading so-called children’s books into my 50s is because when they are true and right — like this one is — they can hit you harder and speak truths more honest than any so-called adult book. Man, I just finished this seconds ago and it’s been a long long time since I’ve literally had tears streaming down my face. Whew. The book tells the story of a boy whose mother is dying of cancer, and a monster comes to him and says he’s going to tell the boy three stories and then the boy is going to have to speak truth to the monster. The boy is perfectly skeptical and sarcastic to this monster who is not scaring him because how could anything be scarier than having your mom be dying. And damned if that monster didn’t reveal a serious, honest truth, a truth I wish I’d understood better when my own mom was dying of cancer. Anyway, I’m probably scaring you off from this book, but it is great great great. One for all-time. Damn, it was good. Get the audio version. The narration is brilliant and elevates the story even higher. Grade: A+

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very dark

This is a dark and intense story. I'm not sure it would be appropriate for sensitive children. The narrator was fantastic and really dramatized the story, but, again, it just seemed too intense to be classified as a children's book. ( only my opinion, of course )

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A powerful story!

Any additional comments?

I liked this book even more the second time around. I first read this book several years ago and liked it then so when I saw the audio on sale earlier this month, I decided to revisit the story in audiobook. I really enjoyed the book the first time that I experienced it but I absolutely loved it during this re-read. I am not sure if it is where I am in my life that made the difference but the story just seemed to speak to me this time.

Conor is a 13 year old boy living with his mom. His mom is sick with cancer and Conor has had to adapt. People treat him differently because of his mother including the teachers and kids at school. Some of the kids bully him while teachers seem hesitant to reprimand him. Conor really just wants his life to be the way it used to be and for his mom to get better.

A monster pays a visit to Conor. The monster tells Conor that he will share with him 3 stories and at the end of the third story, Conor will share his story. Each of the stories were incredibly entertaining and I found myself unable to stop listening. Conor seemed to let more of himself out when he was with the monster. I found the monster to be more wise than scary and loved the parts of the book that featured him.

The narration of this audiobook was outstanding. Jason Isaacs handled a wide variety of voice expertly. I loved the way he brought the monster to life. This is an emotional story and I really felt every one of the emotions that Conor was dealing with. I think that the narration really elevated this story to another level. I hope to listen to other books narrated by Jason Isaacs in the future.

I would recommend this book to others. It is a rather short book that tells a really big story. This book is one of those rare gems that just captures everything perfectly.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great listen

In thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. Being a father of two young kids, I often wonder how my kids or I would deal with a situation like this. The book sums up many of the emotions people go through.
It was beautifully written and narrated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very moving

The story was a bit difficult to bear at times, especially since I lost my husband to cancer almost 10 years ago, but it was an excellent read. The narrator was outstanding.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful